Pitons (Qualibou and Canaries)

Country/territory: St Lucia

IBA criteria met: A1, A2, B4i (2007)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 1,617 ha

Site description (2007 baseline)
The Pitons are located on the southwest coast of St. Lucia, near the coastal town of Soufriere, and provide an area of outstanding natural beauty, spectacular geological features, and highly productive biological ecosystems. The Pitons Management Area (PMA) is a World heritage Site comprising of 2 majestic volcanic spires that rise from the sea to 777m and 730m respectively. The Gros Piton and Petit Piton are volcanic plugs that are part of our national and international identity. The area comprise of 1450 hectares. Communities within the PMA are Fond Jens Libre and Chateau Belair. Two resorts Ladera and Jalousie Hilton also lie within the PMA.

Key biodiversity
The species of national importance in this site include the following: St. Lucia Black Finch Melanospiza richardsoni, St. Lucia Oriole Icterus laudabilis, St. Lucia Pewee (Lesser Antillean Pewee) Contopus oberi (Contopus latirostris) , St. Lucia Warbler Dendroica delicata, St. Lucia Flycatcher (Lesser Antillean Flycatcher) Myiachus oberi sanctae luceae (Myiachus oberi ) and St. Lucia Wren (House Wren)Troglodytes aedon sanctae luceae (Troglodytes aedon). Other species that inhabit the area are: Banana Quit (Bananaquit) Coereba flaveola, Lesser Antillean Bullfinch Loxigila noctis, Black-faced Grass Quit (Black-faced Grassquit) Tiaris bicolor, Broad-Winged hawk (broad-winged Hawk) Buteo platypterus, Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis, Green Heron Butorides virescens, Grey Trembler Cinclocerthia gutturalis, Brown Trembler Cinclocerthia ruficauda, Mangrove Cuckoo Coccyzus minor , Common Ground-dove Columbina passerina, Red-Necked Pigeon (Scaly-naped Pigeon) Patagioenas squamosa, Caribbean Elaenia Elaenia martinica, Purple-throated Carib Eulampis jugularis, Antillean Euphonia Euphonia musica, American Kestrel Falco sparverius, Ruddy Quail Dove Geotrygon montana, Scaly-Breasted Thrasher Margarops fuscus, Antillean Crested Hummingbird Orthorhyncus cristatus, Carib Grackle Quiscalus lugubris, Lesser Antillean Saltator Saltator albicollis, Bare-eyed Thrush (Spectacled Thrush) Turdus nudigenis, Grey Kingbird Tyrannus dominicensis, Black-whispered Vireo (Black-whiskered Vireo) Vireo altiloquus, Zenaida Dove Zenaida aurita.

Non-bird biodiversity: Other endemic species found in the area include St. Lucia anole Anolis luceae and St. Lucia Pygmy Gecko Sphaerodactylus microlepis, Boa constrictor (endemic subspecies) Fer de lance; a newly described mollusc(?). The Pitons have also a very high floristic diversity, including many endemics, for St Lucia.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Pitons (Qualibou and Canaries). Downloaded from on 06/12/2023.